Blockberry Shanzhai Phone Ad With Obama Divide Chinese

more-littleredbook-125x125From littleredbook:

“Obama’s “sponsorship” of Shanzhai ‘Blockberry’; Chinese netizens reactions.”

BlockBerry Storm 9500, “Obama’s blackberry, my BlockBerry storm 9500.”

Created by HAFF-COMM ( 哈佛通信,“哈佛”also the Chinese translation of Harvard), a copycatting smart phone named “BlockBerry” together with its poster is all over China’s internet; distinguishing it from the rest is U.S. president Obama’s image as “spokesperson”.

In the poster of “Storm 9500, pure flat touch Internet smart phone”, Obama wears a smile. The sentence below reads “Obama’s blackberry, my BlockBerry storm 9500.” The copycat’s appearance is also highly similar with the original BlackBerry Storm, but with a Windows Mobile system inside.

The original BlackBerry Storm 9500 series vs. its Chinese copycat BlockBerry Storm 9500.

There’s been no detailed information of this HAFF-COMM company, which apparently doesn’t exist at all, and definitely has no relation with Harvard University. The company appears to be a made up Brand form a factory in Shenzhen.

Picture of a poster in a Shanzhai (copycatting) electronic products mall in Shenzhen.
Picture of a poster in a Shanzhai (copycatting) electronic products mall in Shenzhen.

Worth mentioning is that the Obama poster has drawn international attention, which was probably expected by HAFF-COMM. The Wall Street Journal says that the picture of Obama is obviously reversed by the clumsy designer; the U.S. flag badge appears on the right side of his suit, and is also confused by the two sides. “We haven’t confirmed with Robert Gibbs, the White House Press Secretary, but it’s off authorization from our guesstimate. ”

From Africa to China

The fake Obama endorsement phone didn’t occur recently, as soon as he swore in in January, the first shanzhai phone called “Obama” was out in the market in his hometown Kenya, Africa.

No doubt this is just another work of one China copycatting company. This copycatting mobile phone adopted the same strategy as the new BlockBerry, using Obama as the spokesperson with a giant picture of him on the poster.

While HAFF-COMM copied BlackBerry, the African version copied the Nokia 5300 XpressMusic; HAFF-COMM takes advantage of the fact Obama likes to use BlackBerry, while the African version printed the campaign slogan “Yes, we can” on the cell’s back cover.


“Obama” mobile chills other Shanzhai product makers

Few companies in the world dare to be as bold as HAFF-COMM. The case has made many Shanzhai companies in Shenzhen very nervous of legal retribution.

There have been several Shanzhai mobile cases exposed recently, including India’s expulsion of China Shanzhai mobiles. China’s Shanzhai culture has got a pretty bad reputation the world over, to the point where other Shanzhai manufactures complain: “copycatting shouldn’t be so unscrupulous; law breaking can’t be that obviously extreme. HAFF-COMM forces all of us into the international spotlight.”

Selected Chinese netizen comments from Sina, translated by littleredbook:

Sina netizen:

If you can’t find the factory, what can you find? A group of stupid journalists.

Sina netizen (from Ordos, Inner Mongolia):

I just don’t understand. Is there anything Chinese don’t dare to do? As a Chinese, don’t you feel ashamed? People even cheer for this. It’s enough those Shanzhai factories lose face domestically, why even be disgraced in the international market? What’s left besides money in your Shanzhais’ eyes? “Upper lip touch to the sky, the lower lip to the earth, no need of face”. As a Chinese I feel ashamed for you. Are the Ministry of Industry and Information people all useless? Shanzhai is so rampant, shouldn’t you make a self-criticism???

Sina netizen (from Guangdong):

You always say how Shanzhai harms China’s credits. Don’t you think why Shanzhai is growing? Without need, why would it be produced?

Sina netizen (from Hebei):

Such smart Chinese, why not do something that credits our country?

Sina netizen (from Guangdong):

HAFF mobile sir, do you dare to print the pictures of boss Hu and boss Wen (Chairman Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao). Then I will admire you!

Sina netizen (from Dalian, Liaoning):

Different people have different views toward the news. I think understanding from any level has its reason. Not to mention the rational, publicly recognized right thoughts. To digest from the other side, Shanzhai indicates a passive influence for eagerness for instant success and quick profits, but indeed helps to promote China to the outside world.

Sina netizen (from Beijing):

No wonder why many foreigners doubt “made in China”, it’s all resulted by those short sighted businessmen who ruin their self images, only focus on the short term interests, and thus make a uncountable long term loss.

Sina netizen (from Chuzhou, Anhui):

Take it as entertainment everyone, don’t be too serious, although the company has no innovation, it does have some creativity, haha.

Sina netizen (from Zhengzhou, Henan):

Fake ones can also be used, and also cheaper. Chinese are just realistic, I myself don’t support any foreign stuff!

Sina netizen (from Shanghai):

So shameless!

Sina netizen (from Zhejiang):

Shanzhai is also a way China’s companies walk into the world.

Sina netizen (from Zhejiang):

That would be so wonderful if there is a Shanzhai petrol, then petrol won’t be so expensive like crazy!

Sina netizen (from Zhejiang):

Shanzhai mobile is an epitome of the disrespect for intellectual property rights, and it shows how Chinese rush for instant success and quick profits.

Sina netizen (from Beijing):

There are many products use Mao Tse-Tung’s image in other countries.

Sina netizen (from Shenzhen, Guangdong):

If the U.S. makes fake endorsements of China’s leaders, how would Chinese react?

Sina netizen (from Guangdong) @ Sina netizen (from Shenzhen, Guangdong):

Obama often joke himself in his promotional video, not to say Americans. They are not like us that can’t take any joke, easy to magnify a problem to be a question of principle or ideology and even harmony.

more info & translated comments at: littleredbook

The Wall Street Journal/China Journal article mentioned above is here.

Written by chinaSMACK

Welcome to chinaSMACK. This is an archive of announcement posts and other posts without a specific author.


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